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John Francis Spenlove, Abingdon brewer and politician, was born on 27 March 1769 in Cornhill, London, the son of Francis Spenlove and his wife Dorothy. Francis was a mercer, a freeman of the City of London, and a member of the Wheelwrights Company. His son John was apprenticed at the age of fifteen to William Whittingstall, brewer, of Great Amwell, Hertfordshire. By 1790, at the age of twenty-one, he was at the Abbey Brewery, Abingdon, in partnership with Edward Child. Child died in 1815 and Spenlove continued as sole proprietor or with other partners.

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